Latino Social Work Student Organization Honored With a President's Service Award

The NYU Silver School of Social Work’s Latino Social Work Student Organization (LSWSO) has been honored with a 2015 NYU President’s Service Award recognizing the significant impact the student group has made on the NYU community.

While 29 percent of New Yorkers identify as Latino or Hispanic, there are very few Latino or bilingual social workers that are prepared to work with this population. Formed in 2013 by four MSW students, LSWSO brings together and supports Latino and bilingual social work students. The group meets twice a month and helps students deepen their understanding of health and social welfare issues facing the Latino community within New York City, the United States, and around the world. LSWSO works to provide students with greater opportunities to increase cultural competency and effectiveness. Anahi Galante, MSW ’15, and Jose Alvear, MSW ’16, serve as the group’s co-leaders, and Professor Vincent Guilamo-Ramos is the faculty adviser to LSWSO.

“This President’s Service Award represents the recognition of our unwavering, disciplined, and passionate perseverance to create a legacy for future generations,” said Galante. “Being a leader is hard work and it requires an incredible amount of personal sacrifice. We hope that we are paving the way for Latino social work students and helping NYU Silver be at the forefront in developing Latino leaders in the field of social work.”

Said Alvear, "We are honored to be recognized with the President's Award and strive to continue to uphold our commitment working with the Latino population."

In April 2014, LSWSO organized an event called "Voices of the Bronx" to highlight the need for social workers in the borough and to increase awareness about Latino social welfare issues. The event brought together social workers from several Bronx agencies to help foster a better community image and highlight the gaps in services for many people living in the borough. Feedback was so positive, a panel addressing these same topics was also convened for 2014 Common Day for NYU Silver’s second-year MSW students.

This year the group is assisting NYU Silver in designing and implementing a sustainable model to increase the recruitment, support, and development of Latino and bilingual students into leaders in the Latino and social work communities. The project is supported by an NYU Silver Social Justice and Diversity Grant. On April 21, LSWSO will host—with Dean Lynn Videka and Guilamo-Ramos—"Recruit, Support and Develop NYU Silver Latino Social Workers." The event will bring together school administrators, staff, faculty, students, and alumni for a brainstorming session and formation of working groups to create an action plan to be included in the School’s new strategic plan.

The President’s Service Award recognizes NYU students and student groups who have had an outstanding and positive impact on the University community, local neighborhoods, and NYU’s presence around the world. LSWSO and all President’s Service Awardees will be honored by President John Sexton at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 21.